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Steve Tolfrey - A tribute


Steve looking cheerful.

By Monkey1
July 23 2018

  Today we gathered to pay our respects to Steve Tolfrey, known to many on here as Barbancet. Fittingly for the man, it was not to remember a life that has passed, it was a celebration of a life that was lived. Yes he will be missed, that goes without saying as somebody who was so much involved with all things Falcons, but much more importantly he will be remembered, and that is what today was about.  

The Falcons family was mentioned during the service, indeed his relationship with our beloved club cropped up many times. It was obvious that the Falcons were central to Steve’s life, and the sheer number of Falcons supporters who turned up today, some in suits, some in Falcons shirts, paid testament to how much a part of the Falcons family he had become. I would wager that most of us got to know Steve at away games rather than at Kingston Park, such was his passion for following the club near and far.

Many who knew Steve would be aware of his passion for France, but few would know why or how deep this affection went. His family connections there were unknown to most of us, or even that he had spent a year working and living in France. He loved the place, the people, the food and the way of life. Anybody who has spent time in France will know that the art of conversation there is completely different to what we are used to here, and it is easy to imagine somebody of Steve’s gentle temperament, somebody who enjoys life, fitting in easily with this more artistic way of passing the time.

Lyon Group

Steve lurking at the back of the Falcons Lyon trip group, 2012

 

This side of Steve fits easily with his other passion, the enjoyment of music, both the listening and performing. Some of us will have heard about his hurdy gurdy, and how it seems to have spent most if not all of its time while in Steve’s possession in the hurdy gurdy hospital, but how many of us knew that he also played the trumpet, the banjo, was an enthusiastic musician and singer?

Much of the above, of France and music, would be unknown to most Falcons supporters who knew Steve, because when we met it would be because of his other passion in life; rugby, and that is what we tended to talk about. It is perhaps a stretch too far for the imagination to imagine Steve in the middle of a scrum, but that is precisely where he was found during his playing years. He was a hooker, in the days when a hooker hooked, and was supported by props. Small but strong is often what was wanted in a hooker in those days, how things have changed.

More than anything, Steve could be relied on to be a friendly face. Not always the happiest face, especially when turning up at KP expecting yet another drubbing as we went through our, ahem, not so good years, but even on a bad day he was always good for a conversation. If you were at an away game and saw Steve’s elegant figure amongst the crowd, you knew you would be in good company. He was what Bertie Wooster would describe as ‘a good egg’ easy to know, and easy to like. You can’t really be a better man than that, so if you did know Steve, don’t be sad because of his passing, be thankful that you enjoyed his company.

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Steve Tolfrey - A tribute
FalconsRugby.org.uk (IP Logged)
23/07/2018 22:04
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Re: Steve Tolfrey - A tribute
zackary71 (IP Logged)
24/07/2018 08:32
Beautifully written Monkey. The sheer numbers attending yesterday spoke volumes about how highly he was thought of. Felicity commented too how heartwarming it was as she arrived at the Crematorium, seeing the Falcons Family there in such large numbers. I'll miss Steve, and although there's so many stories I could tell, I'll share this one. After tasting another defeat at Gloucester, we were chatting about our respective plans that evening, as we were both staying overnight. I explained I'd booked a table at the local restaurant for the Mrs and myself. Without pausing for breath, he said "you don't mind if we join you do you ? You're not having a quiet romantic candlelit meal are you?" That was Steve all over. A table for 2 changed to a table for 8, and what an absolutely fantastic night we all had...from what I can remember. Steve was one of a kind, and the Falcons Family have lost a bloody nice chap.

 
Re: Steve Tolfrey - A tribute
markismith50 (IP Logged)
24/07/2018 08:46
Steve was lovely fella and will be missed by all at the club. RIP.

 
Re: Steve Tolfrey - A tribute
Leipziger (IP Logged)
24/07/2018 16:54
Lovely tribute Monkey, thank you, I hope it was a good and fitting service yesterday for a great bloke.

 
Re: Steve Tolfrey - A tribute
Davidten31 (IP Logged)
25/07/2018 17:30
Well said monkey, a fitting tribute to the man. Steve was one of the first to come over to speak to me and sharon when we first started to attend KP. I think it may have been our mutual love of facial hair that broke the ice.
Steve will be greatly missed and a glass or two will be raised on the first away trip bus.

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